Christine De Smedt has until now always kept any form of personal story out of her work. ‘Why on earth should my story be of interest to an audience?’ But in Untitled 4 it is precisely the personal things that are the subject of the performance. What is personal? How do you present it or express it in artistic work? De Smedt took these and other questions to fellow choreographers Jonathan Burrows, Alain Platel, Xavier Le Roy and Eszter Salomon. On the basis of these interviews, she created portraits of four artists which evolve into a portrait of herself in which she seeks the essence of the portrait by copying, imitating, assuming, identifying, appropriating, desiring, empathically listening, directly and indirectly citing.
The son of a priest
‘I would leave a signature’
A woman with a diamond
She stands alone on stage, with a performance that expresses a desire for authorship but which at the same time puts the authorship into other people’s hands. Artistic identity takes shape by seeking out the boundary of the non-identity, by radically appropriating an ‘other’.
• Christine De Smedt has been with les ballets C de la B for 20 years now, and her work there is situated at the point where dance and performance, choreography, artistic coordination and varied artistic projects meet.
concept & performance Christine De Smedt | artistic support & collaboration Kristien van den Brande, Bojana Cvejic, Vladimir Miller, Ana Vujanovic | voice coach & advice songs Eurudike De Beul | video Nele Keukelier | technique Wim Piqueur, Bennert Van Cottem | apprentice technique Mattijs Otté | production les ballets C de la B | co-production
Musée de la danse/Centre chorégraphique national de Rennes et Bretagne,
BUDA (Kortrijk), PACT Zollverein (Essen), Next Festival – Espace
Pasolini, Théâtre International (Valenciennes) | support Vlaamse Overheid, Stad Gent, provincie Oost-Vlaanderen